LeBlanc, Antoine J. “A.J.” (1929-2018). Collection, 1900-2012, n.d.
13 feet, 27 volumes
Antoine Jude “A.J.” LeBlanc was born on November 18, 1929 in Lafayette. He married Louella “Lou” Thibodeaux and they had two children, Susan LeBlanc Guilbeau and Jay Louis LeBlanc. Before engaging in a career of Acadian education, LeBlanc worked for a while as a car salesman, where he was praised for his honesty and dependability. He died on January 22, 2018 at the age of 88.
LeBlanc was dedicated to promoting tourism in Acadiana through his involvement in many Louisiana tourism organizations. He was a member of the Louisiana Tourist Development Commission and the Louisiana Scenic Byways Commission. He served as president of several organizations, including: CAFA (Confederation of Associations of Families Acadian), the Louisiana Fairs and Festivals Association, the Louisiana Attractions Association, and the Lafayette Chapter of CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana). He served as a board member for the Acadiana Chapter of the Louisiana Restaurant Association and the Louisiana Travel Promotion Association. He was director of Acadian Village from 1982 to 1999.
He received numerous awards and honors over the years, including: Louisiana Travel Attraction Employee of the Year (awarded by the Louisiana Travel Association and Louisiana Attractions Association), the CFMA (Cajun French Music Association) 1991 Ambassador at Large Award, “King Cotton” of the Ville Platte, LA Cotton Festival, and 1989 Distinguished Service Award from the Louisiana Restaurant Association. He had the honor of meeting King Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain in 2001 along with a delegation of Acadian representatives. He served for four years on the Lafayette Parish Policy Jury from 1975 to 1985. He promoted Acadian/Cajun history, music, and culture through his website “Central Acadiana Tourism” where he referred to himself as “L’Ambassadeur des Monde des Cadiens.”
The collection contains A.J. LeBlanc’s personal and professional papers, photographs, newsclippings, audio/audiovisual music collection, correspondence, scrapbooks, and miscellaneous artifacts. Primary topic coverage includes LeBlanc’s involvement with Acadian Village, the programs he created, and his promotion of tourism throughout Acadiana. Other topics covered include: Acadian genealogy, “Central Acadiana Tourism” (website and organization), Belizaire the Cajun (film), Acadian Odyssey Knit (Tourism program), Lafayette Bicentennial Celebration, Marquis de Lafayette Bicentennial celebration, Acadian/Cajun musicians, and miscellaneous information about local history and culture.
|I.||Personal Papers||1-01 through 1-10|
|II.||Professional Papers||1-11 through 5-17|
|III.||News Clippings||5-18 through 5-53|
|IV.||Correspondence||5-54 through 5-63|
|V.||Photographs||5-64 through 6-81|
|VI.||Audiovisual||Boxes 7-10A, Digitized Collection|
|Oversize: 4 oversized laminates|